Leeds United had been without Tyler Roberts before the clash against Brighton but the reasons why have been somewhat unknown. Phil Hay has provided an update as to why he was unavailable for selection.
Hay’s update on Roberts
The journalist for The Athletic wrote: “Leeds have taken a policy of making no comment on Covid cases. My understanding is that Roberts was affected by it, hence his recent absence, but that was never confirmed. What we do know is that when Bielsa was asked on Thursday, he said Phillips was the only new absentee.”
It’s good to see Roberts available again
Roberts had only played 237 minutes of football this season before coming off the bench against the Seagulls, (Transfermarkt) so he has been barely-used by the manager and rarely seen by supporters.
However, Noel Whelan was full of praise for the player in the past, as he said: “Now you’ve got Tyler Roberts who I think has been looking fantastic in that position, he poses a different kind of threat, he has a little more pace about him, he is great with the ball at his feet and he defends more.”
While Roberts hasn’t pressed on and shown his best form since those comments from Whelan, he certainly does have that extra bit of pace that the likes of Patrick Bamford and Jack Harrison do not, despite their other attributes.
If the player did have COVID, it is not easy to return to full fitness, as proven by the fact that Newcastle player Allan Saint-Maximin has been out for a long period due to the virus.
Bielsa will now be hoping that despite the fact he has not had a great impact this campaign, Roberts can bring something to the side, even from the bench, and Hay himself believed that was the case on Saturday, as he said: “To give Roberts his due, he’s done a better job of linking up play than anyone else today.”
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